Monday, May 08, 2006


A Reaction to "Waving the Star-Spanglish Banner"

Dear Editor and Ariel Adorfman,

I found "Waving the Star-Spanglish Banner" (The Washington Post, Outlook, May 7, 2006) on target with some exceptions.

Mr. Adorfman forgot to mention that the first established European language in what is now the USA was Spanish not English and that in both North and South American millions of native Americans have taken on Spanish as their native language in place of their indigenous languages. For many in this tradition to take on a third language is simply a bit much, especially for the elderly. The native Americans have had to put up with centuries of indignation from the Spanish (and Portuguese in Brazil) and now they and their mixed descendants are having to go through the same experience with English-speaking types who believe they are right and anyone who is not like them is beneath them.

In addition, the Spanish kingdom was in place in the Greater Southwest centuries before the English-speaking "immigrants" entered the area. Do not forget that the descendants of these native Americans and Spanish and Mexicans are still among USA citizens and many of us still speak Spanish as well as English. We shall not forget who we are.

Fortunately, by the second and certainly by the third generation, English replaces or will replace whatever language parents or grandparents might have originally
spoken, so English-speaking Americans need not worry.

Robert L. Giron

Robert L. Giron
Author of:
Songs for the Spirit
Metamorphosis of the Serpent God
Impressions fran├žaises

and (translator of) Songs for a Single String

Editor of:
Poetic Voices Without Borders
An Interdisciplinary Introduction to Women's Studies
Gival Press:

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